Lately I've noticed that the rules have been hard-to-find and comprehend. So here are ALL the rules for the Character Clinic so you don't get any nasty surprise point docks.
The Character Help forum is for discussion and questions pertaining to canon characters, character relationships/dynamics, designing and developing original characters, writing different aspects of characters and characterisation, etc.
+ This forum is not for fangirling/bashing/shipping. All threads are places of in-depth discussion, so as to help those participating to better understand characters and pairings in order to better write them. Statements should not be made without reason, and posts should not be made in threads simply to state love or loathing for the character on topic. Threads/posts that are not discussion-oriented or are not backed up with reason will be considered spam and will be deleted. The posters will then have points deducted.
+ To emphasize, do not participate in pairing threads if you are only expressing your opinion about the pairing. Pairing threads are for fan-fiction related discussion. At MNFF [and in the fan-fic world in general], we are open-minded to the possibility of most pairings when well-written and well-developed. “You can try, but it’s not canon/never will be canon/won’t ever happen in the canon-universe” is not an appropriate comment, as it helps nobody, and we aren’t discussing what may or may not happen during or after the books, but looking for ways to enable the pairing in fan-fiction, and retain characterisation and believability.
+ As always, be polite and courteous. Use proper spelling, grammar and punctuation. No flaming or netspeak.
+ Do not alter the size/colour/font of your text for entire posts or for regular posting purposes. I haven't been keeping a close watch on this rule, but I will now. Please make your posts in the default text format, which is almost always easier to see than any fancy text formatting. Some text formatting may be used at discretion to highlight small portions of your post that need to stand out.
+ When titling threads be specific to the topic, and concise. 'Would this ever happen?' -- not helpful. If it's a character or pairing, include the name/names. [Liam Connolly; Pairing - Harry/Ginny; Tom Riddle]. We should be able to get a general idea what the thread is about before reading the post.
On Canon Characters -- be sure there isn't already a thread discussing the specific character. There is no need to create a new thread asking one question that can be addressed in an existing thread.
- Minor Characters -- These characters play a minimal part in the Harry Potter series. Though the definition of 'minor' and 'major' here is subjective, for the purpose of these forums, we will call those who do not play active roles in the books 'minor.' These characters include, but are not limited to: the four Founders, Madam Pomfrey, Theodore Nott, and Susan Bones.
- Major Characters -- These characters are the "stars" of the series. They are crucial in Harry Potter's journey and include but are not limited to: Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, Luna Lovegood, and Professor McGonagall.
Due to the thin line between major and minor characters, no points will be taken off if what is considered to be a minor character was posted in the major character forum and vice versa.
On Original Characters -- Keep it simple. Please label your thread with your character's name. There are a lot of authors with OC's 'My New OC' and 'Is she a Mary-Sue?' don't help posters differentiate your thread from someone else's.
On Pairings -– Pairing threads are to be named simply with the pairing in the standard format [Harry/Ginny, Sirius/Lily] and should be placed in the Canon Character forum. Threads should be limited to the discussion of one pairing, which should be two canon characters [the actual pairing does not need to be canon]. If you wish to discuss several pairings/romantic possibilities of one character, please direct your questions to their Canon Character thread. Discussion of pairings involving Original Characters should be directed to the OC’s thread. [If the OC does not have a thread, create one as you would normally, and note the pairing as a topic you would like help on. Do not create a Mary-Sue/Harry Potter thread and expect forum members to do their research].
Discussion Threads -- These threads should pertain to the topic of Character Help and should not be addressed in an existing thread. Essays should not be posted without moderator approval. Points will be taken off if these essays are seen. Read this announcement for more details.
Canon Character Forum Rules:
+ Before asking a factual question, check Which Wizard: Who's Who in the Wizarding World first. It is an excellent collection of all the canonical facts of every character introduced in the series.
Original Character Forum Rules:
+ Character Forms, as they are called, are not to be posted in the forums. Any thread containing a character form will be deleted or edited at moderator discretion; points may be taken. An example of a character thread and sample questions may be found here.
+ Threads posted for the sole purpose of naming a character are not allowed, as such threads can go on for quite a while without getting much accomplished. If you need help finding or choosing a character name, read this thread for ideas. You are, however, allowed to develop the characteristics of a nameless character while asking for help finding a suitable name.
+ You may double-post in your own original character thread if your thread is not active (rule-of-thumb is a week of inactivity) or if you wish to add more information.
+ When replying to responses on your character, you still need to write everything in one post. You still need to use the edit button if you wish to add or clarify on something. But if you're adding completely new information, an excerpt, etc, you may double-post.
+ You are allowed more than one thread at a time. If you are developing multiple original characters at a time, I'd rather you have information of all of them neatly divided so that it is easier to find.
+ Do not feel forced to answer every single question.. Answer only what will help you. Do not invent facts that do not need to exist.
+ You are allowed to post excerpts that will reveal more about your character. Excerpts may not be longer than 300 words. Excerpts that do not pertain to your character and focus more on plot/detail belong in the Excerpts of Murlap forum.
+ Inactive threads (no response for more than 4 months old) will be graved. I don't think I need to elaborate on that.
+ Follow the rules of the forum in general. This includes no offsite links, no unsafe Internet practices, and no posting unapproved essays.
+ If there is a problem with posting, i.e., a thread in the wrong forum or a need to delete a post, private message me. I cannot stress how important it is that when you do notify me, include a link. If you have double-posted and have realized your error, contact me. By doing so, I will be able to get rid of the double posts and will NOT take points off.
+ If your post does not show up, this may be because you have not been Sorted. Your post will then have to be manually approved by me. I am usually good about approving (or not approving) posts at least twice daily. Please be patient until I do my rounds. See the MuggleNet Fan Fiction Beta Boards FAQ for details.
+ Any questions I have not answered that you might have, please post here.